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Student Julia Klimaszewska

"Econometrics and Operations Research is a bachelor program that will challenge you, but in a very rewarding way. It has a great reputation and represents outstanding quality of education."

foto Julia Klimaszewska
  • Nationality: Polish
  • Bachelor's program: Econometrics and Operations Research
  • Started in: 2015
  • Extracurricular activities: Outreaching Honors Program
  • High school diploma: International Baccalaureate Diploma with Math, Economics and English B at Higher Level
  • Languages: English, Polish

Did you always know what you wanted to do?

Throughout my education path, I was always absorbed in many things at the same time. For 12 years I was doing both ‘regular’ school and music school that prepared students to become classical musicians. However, in my final year of high school, after thorough consideration, I decided that, in my academic studies I wish to focus on the area of mathematics and economics.

Why did you choose to study abroad, and how did you decide to study in the Netherlands?

After hearing about all the great experiences my friends had by studying abroad, it sure got me excited for that as well. I believe that such a big change of environment, putting you in a completely different situation than the one you knew before, is a great opportunity for a personal growth.

The Netherlands was a country I visited few times before starting my bachelor, and always had a great feeling when coming here. Not to forget, the reputation and ranking of the university (and especially important for me - Econometrics and Operations Research program) is very impressive.

How did you reach the decision to study Econometrics and Operations Research?

For a long time I noticed that the area of mathematics and economics were the ones I felt the most comfortable in, and were the ones that interested me the most. I knew that the best option for me would be to combine these, and reading about Econometrics seemed like a perfect fit!

What is it like to study completely in English, together with international students? Was the transition from high school difficult?

Coming from the background of an International High School, the transition into studying and speaking in English on the everyday basis did not seem that scary. Nevertheless, there are times when I hear a native English speaker and I feel a bit insecure about my accent/English skills. Yet, I think that it should never be a barrier and a reason not to enter a conversation in a foreign language.

What sort of teaching styles do you encounter in your program, and can you say something about this?

In Econometrics and Operations Research program, you will encounter, on a regular basis, three types of teaching- lectures, tutorials and computer labs. In the lectures, you will receive the explanations of theory, background of a certain topic; in mathematical courses, often proofs of the most important theories. In the tutorials, you are given a set of problems/exercises to complete (most often) individually. In the meantime, there are tutors available to help you with issues you might encounter throughout the way. For the computer labs, it goes very similarly like in tutorials, but you work on problems in a given computer software, for example Matlab or Stata (which will be explained to you, so do not worry if this is the first time you have heard those names).

Would you recommend studying abroad to a student who might never have thought about it before?

Definitely! Firstly, it is a great opportunity to improve your language skills and make friends from around the world. Moreover, living on your own in a different country gives very valuable life lessons. Also, it should not be your worry here that you cannot speak fluent Dutch, because I would say English is like a second language here.

What sort of student is a great fit for your program? And who is absolutely not?

I would say that you must feel quite ‘comfortable’ with mathematics and with the idea that you will encounter quite some mathematical courses in the whole Econometrics program. Not to forget, it really helps if you are able to balance your work and preparation for the classes throughout the whole year, not just short time before the exams.

Do your studies take a lot of time? Do you have any time for activities besides your studies?

In a typical study week, I have about 16 hours (45min) of lectures and tutorials together. Then, on average, I would spend the same amount of time on the studying at home and preparation for tutorials. That still leaves me plenty of time for other activities, like sports, participation in the honors program and part-time work.

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